Garden apartments for rent in New York City can mean two sorts of homes. In several neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx—as well as in most suburban communities in Westchester and New Jersey — listings for garden apartments simply mean a studio, one-, two- or three-bedroom apartment that's within a garden apartment complex.


A garden apartment complex is characterized by a cluster of low-rise buildings, usually no more than two or three stories high, on single piece of property. Open lawns, landscaping, and pathways are considered common areas for garden apartment rentals of these sorts, and some garden apartment complexes have amenities such as pools, clubhouses, playgrounds, and gyms on the property as well. Garden house apartments such as these can be found in New York City proper in places such as Glen Oakes Village, Whitestone, and Holliswood Gardens in Queens; Clarendon Gardens in Brooklyn; Grymes Hill Apartments and Markham Gardens in Staten Island; and in Riverdale, in the Bronx.


The other definition of the garden apartment is used less often in New York City, though the housing unit itself is far more common. This sort of garden apartment refers to any apartment on the ground floor (or occasionally even the basement level), of an apartment building that offers direct access to an outdoor space, whether backyard, garden, or patio. NYC Garden apartments are most often found in brownstone buildings, or town houses. The "garden" itself can vary wildly in both square footage as well as the amount of actual greenery present.


Even if these sorts of homes aren't often called garden apartments in real estate listings—the term is far more common in, for example, places like Washington D.C.--there are actually a great deal more rental apartments with access to private outdoor space in New York City than can be found in garden apartment complexes. In Manhattan, for instance, there are hundreds of brownstones and townhouses with gardens or yards in the back in neighborhoods as diverse as the Upper West Side, the Upper East Side, Chelsea, Murray Hill and Kips Bay, the East Village and the West Village. Brooklyn also has a wealth of these sorts of garden apartments. And in parts of that borough, most notably Carroll Gardens, the brownstones with garden apartments on their first floor are set back from the street by some 35 feet, creating ample space in the front for some truly spectacular gardens or lovely little patios, as well having the traditional garden apartment space in the back.


The garden apartment complex rental unit often offers tenants private outdoor space in addition to the abundant open lawns and other common outdoor areas. This private outdoor space is most often a sort of porch, or raised patio, on which there is usually room for a small table with chairs, for dining al fresco, or a couple of chaise lounges. Many tenants add flower boxes or giant pots with green plants to their terraces, adding to to the bucolic settings of the garden apartment complex.

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